Comet - DAN AIR REMEMBERED

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Comet

AIRCRAFT
DH COMET DETAILS & FLEET LISTING
The de Havilland Comet was the world's first commercial jet airliner to reach production. Developed and manufactured by de Havilland, it first flew in 1949 and was considered a landmark British aeronautical design. After a successful introduction into commercial service, early Comet models suffered from catastrophic metal fatigue, causing a string of well-publicised accidents.The Comet was withdrawn temporarily and redesigned. The Comet 4 series subsequently enjoyed a long and productive career of over 30 years, although sales never fully recovered. A total of 76 Comet 4 family aircraft were delivered from 1958 to 1964. BOAC retired its Comet 4s from revenue service in 1965. Most were then sold to Dan Air, who took delivery of their first Comet in May 1966. They continued flying Comets in commercial passenger service until 1980. Dan-Air played a significant role in the fleet's later history having owned a total of 49  Comets from at various stages between 1966 -1980. Some of them were not airworthy and used for spares. Each one of the Dan Air Comets, whether it entered service or not is listed and it's history covered.
The Comet 4 was a further improvement on the stretched Comet 3 with even greater fuel and seating capacity. It had a longer range, higher cruising speed, and higher maximum takeoff weight. BOAC ordered 19 Comet 4s in 1955 and a Comet 4 (G-APDA) first flew on 27 April 1958. Deliveries  began in September 1958 with two aircraft. BOAC's G-APDB initiated the first transatlantic Comet 4 service and the first scheduled transatlantic passenger jet service in history, flying from London to New York with a stopover at Gander on 4 October 1958. The Comet 4A was designed for short-range operations A further streched version the aircraft was built for British European Airways as the Comet 4B, with seating for 99 passengers. The first Comet 4B (G-APMA) flew on 27 June 1959 and BEA aircraft began Tel Aviv to London-Heathrow service in April 1960. The last Comet 4 variant was the Comet 4C with a longer fuselage, longer wings and extra fuel tanks, which gave it a longer range than the 4B. The first Comet 4C flew in October 1959 with Mexicana beginning scheduled flights in 1960. The aircraft joined the Dan Air fleet in 1966. To suit the company's operation, many modifications were carried out. Dan air needed the aircraft to be used as a  high density charter aircraft. The Comet 4 and 4B would be was reconfigured for 99 passengers. The Dan Air Engineering staff strengthened the floor of the aircraft,The 4C was also heavily modified, and with reduced seat pitch, it was possible for the aircraft to seat 119 passengers. This basically meant that the four abreast seating configuration would become a five abreast one. Four extra rows were also added. BEA and BOAC were generous with seat pitch. The carter market could not afford such a luxuary. It was felt that as flights would generally be under 4 hours the reduction in leg room was acceptable. Despite this layout and much higher utilisation the aircraft performed superbly. Ex RAF machines came to the company with relatively low flying hours and even at the time of phasing out several had up to 5000 airframe hours remaining. Sadly the Comet was, by now, simply too expensive to operate. In comparison, the Comet with 119 passengers used as much fuel as a DC10 with 345 passengers. The fuel crisis in 1974 was a hindrence, but the low cost of purchase meant that operating the Comet still helped balance the books. But only by a small margin. By 1979 fuel prices had again increased and an extremely deep recession had hit the UK. These factors finally ended Dan Air's use of the Comet. With the last revenue flight being in November 1980 on G-BDIW "India Whiskey" Towards the end of it's service llife with the recession biting and fuel prices increasing Dan Air tried not to utilise it's Comets instead substituting it,  where possible,  with the more fuel eficient BAC 1-11 and Boeing 727 aircraft. Throughout this section of the website we have endeavoured to find a photograph of each individual aircraft. there are thumbnail images of all the liveries the aircraft wore whilst with Dan Air, and in many cases, the prior liveries with other operators. The thumbnail images can be enlarged by simply clicking on them.
G-APDA
Type: Mk 4

Serial Number: 06401

Entered Service : November 1969

Last Flown : Never flown

Obtained From : Scrapped September 1972 (For Spares)

Notes: Obtained from Malaysia Singapore Airlines - First production Comet 4

G-APDA GALLERY
G-APDB
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06403

Entered Service :  16/10/69 (Obtained)

Last Flown : 28/11/73

Obtained From : Malaysia Singapore Airlines

Notes: Onto Duxford now on display, sadly in BOAC colours.
First jet passenger aircraft to cross the Atlantic.

G-APDB GALLERY
G-APDC
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06404

Entered Service :  29/08/69

Last Flown : 10/04/73

Obtained From : Malaysia Singapore Airlines as (9V - BAT)

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham April 75
G-APDC GALLERY
G-APDD

Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06405

Entered Service :  29/10/69

Last Flown : 24/08/72

Obtained From : Malayan Airways as 9M - OAD

Notes: Leased to East African Airways as 5Y - AMT for 1970,
Scrapped April 1974

G-APDD GALLERY
G-APDE
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06406

Entered Service:  November 1969

Last Flown: 02/04/73

Obtained From: Malaysia Singapore Airlines as 9V - BAU

Notes: Leased to East African Airways as 5Y - ALF in 1970
Returned January 1971 - Scrapped April 73.
Used as the Dan Air Training unit.
Later the aircraft towing trainer at Gatwick.

G-APDD GALLERY
G-APDG
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06427

Entered Service:  06/03/70

Last Flown: 02/05/73

Obtained From: BOAC Via Middle East Airways

Notes: Purchased from Kuwait Finance Corp.

Scrapped June 74

G-APDG GALLERY
G-APDJ
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06429

Entered Service :  October 1967 on lease from BOAC

Last Flown : 02/05/73

Obtained From : BOAC - purchased in June 72

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham June 1974
G-APDJ GALLERY
G-APDK
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number:  06429

Entered Service:  15/09/66

Last Flown : 07/05/73

Obtained From : BOAC

Notes: Leased to East African Airways as 5Y -ALD
Returned to Dan Air March 1970 -
Presented to Lasham Air Scouts - Scrapped September 1980

G-APDK GALLERY
G-APDL
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06413

Entered Service:  January 1969

Last Flown: 07/10/70

Obtained From : BOAC

Notes: Written off following a wheels up landing as Newcastle Woolsington
Probable cause crew not carrying out pre landing checks whilst practicing a flapless landing.

G-APDL GALLERY
G-APDM
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06414

Entered Service:  March 1969

Last Flown: 08/10/73

Obtained From : Obtained from Middle East Airlines after a lease to Malayan Airlines as 9V - BBJ.

Notes: Withdrawn from use and used as cabin crew trainer in May 1974

G-APDM GALLERY
G-APDN
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06415

Entered Service:  October 1967

Last Flown: 04/07/70

Obtained From: BOAC

Notes: Crashed into mountains near Barcelona - Report Here (Opens in new window)

G-APDN GALLERY
G-APDO
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06416

Entered Service :  26/05/66

Last Flown : 22/06/73

Obtained From : BOAC

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham June 1974

G-APDO GALLERY
G-APDP
Type:  Mk 4

Serial Number: 06417

Entered Service: March 1969

Last Flown: 22/03/73

Obtained From: BOAC

Notes: Delivered after lease to Malayan Airlines.
Sold to Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough to be used for radio and electronic tests.

G-APDP GALLERY
G-APMB
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06422

Entered Service:  09/04/72

Last Flown: 28/12/78

Obtained From: Channel Airways

Notes: To Gatwick Handling (As Trainer)

G-APMB GALLERY
G-APMC
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06423

Arrived at Dan Air:  09/04/72

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: Channel Airways

Notes:  Scrapped At Lasham April 1974

G-APMC GALLERY
G-APMD
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06435

Entered Service:  12/09/72

Last Flown: January 1975

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes:  Scrapped April 1978


G-APMD GALLERY
G-APME

Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06436

Entered Service:  24/02/72

Last Flown: 02/05/78

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes:  Scrapped June 1979

G-APME GALLERY
G-APMF
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06426

Entered Service:  30/01/73

Last Flown: November 1974

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes:  Scrapped 15/04/78

G-APMF GALLERY
G-APMG
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06442

Entered Service: 19/01/73

Last Flown: 21/11/77

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes:  Scrapped at Lasham 15/04/78

G-APMG GALLERY
G-APYC
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06437

Entered Service:  April 1972

Last Flown: 07/12/78

Obtained From : Channel Airways

Notes: Landed at Manston 19/01/73 with nose wheel failure
Sold to Ministry of Defence to be used by the S.A.S for storming hijacked aircraft at RAF Kemble. Never flew again scrapped in 1982

G-APYC GALLERY
G-APYD
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06438

Entered Service :  April 1972

Last Flown : 23/10/79

Obtained From : Channel Airways

Notes: To RAF at Wroughton as part of the National Science Museum

G-APYD GALLERY
G-APZM
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06440

Entered Service :  14/07/72

Last Flown : 14/11/78

Obtained From : Channel Airways

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham in September 1980

G-APZM GALLERY
G-ARCP
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06431

Entered Service : March 1972

Last Flown : 23/10/78

Obtained From : BEA Airtours

Notes: Re Registered G-BBUV December 1973
Scrapped at Lasham October 1979
G-ARCP GALLERY
G-ARDI
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number:  06447

Arrived At Dan Air :  April 1972

Last Flown : Never Entered Service

Obtained From : Channel Airways/BEA/Olympic

Notes: Scrapped Stansted October 1972 - Never appeared in Dan Air Colours

G-ARDI GALLERY
G-AGRM
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06453

Obtained: October 1973 - Arrived November 1973,  Never entered service

Last Flown : N/A

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes: Never Entered Service

G-AGRM GALLERY
G-ARJK
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06452

Entered Service:  05/10/73

Last Flown: 01/11/76

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham October 1977

G-ARJK GALLERY
G-ARJL
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06455

Arrived At Dan Air :  09/11/73

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes: Scrapped September 1974

G-ARJL GALLERY
G-ARJN

Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06459

Entered Service:  15/02/73

Last Flown: 24/12/77

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes: Scrapped November 1978

G-ARJN GALLERY
G-AROV
Type:  Mk 4c

Serial Number: 06460

Entered Service:  20/07/71

Last Flown: 31/10/77

Obtained From: Aerolineas Argentinas

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham November 1978

G-AROV GALLERY
G-ASDZ
Type:  Mk 4c

Serial Number: 06457

Entered Service:  02/06/75

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: Sudan Airways As ST-AAW

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham 1975

G-ASDZ GALLERY
G-AYVS
Type:  Mk 4c

Serial Number: 06474

Entered Service :  24/03/71 Following lease from Middle East Airways

Last Flown: 06/01/77

Obtained From:  Kuwait Airways

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham April 1978

G-AYVS GALLERY
G-AYWX
Type:  Mk 4c

Serial Number: 06475

Entered Service:  30/03/71

Last Flown: 02/05/78

Obtained From: Kuwait Airways

Notes: Obtained following lease to Middle East Airlines
G-AYWX GALLERY
G-AZIY
Type:  Mk 4c

Serial Number: 06434

Entered Service:  08/11/71

Last Flown: 25/11/73

Obtained From: Aerolineas Argentinas

Notes: Ex LV - AHU
G-AZIY GALLERY
G-AZLW
Type:  Mk 4c

Serial Number: 06432

Arrived At Dan Air:  November 1971

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: Aerolineas Argentinas

Notes: Scrapped January 1973

G-AZLW GALLERY
G-BBUV
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06451

Entered Service:  22/10/73

Last Flown: 23/10/78

Obtained From: BEA Airtours

Notes: Previously registered as G-ARCP

G-BBUV GALLERY
G-BDIF
Type:  Mk 4c

Serial Number: 06463

Entered Service:  02/06/75

Last Flown: 05/11/79

Obtained From: Sudan Airways

Notes: Scrapped at Lasham October 1978

G-BDIF GALLERY
G-BDIT
Type:  Mk C4

Serial Number: 06467

Entered Service:  29/08/75

Last Flown: 13/10/80

Obtained From: 216 Squadron RAF

Notes: Serial with RAF XR395

G-BDIT GALLERY
G-BDIU
Type:  Mk C4

Serial Number: 06468

Entered Service:  29/08/75

Last Flown: 06/10/80

Obtained From: 216 Squadron  RAF

Notes: Serial with RAF XR396
G-BDIU GALLERY
G-BDIV
Type:  Mk C4

Serial Number: 06469

Entered Service :  29/08/75

Last Flown: 12/11/79

Obtained From: 216 Squadron RAF

Notes: Serial with RAF XR397

G-BDIV GALLERY
G-BDIW
Type:  Mk C4

Serial Number: 06470

Entered Service: 29/08/75  

Last Flown: 09/11/80

Obtained From: 216 Squadron RAF

Notes: Serial with RAF XR398 - Sold to the Museum of Flight Dusseldorf

G-BDIW GALLERY
G-BDIX
Type:  Mk C4

Serial Number: 06471

Entered Service:  29/08/75

Last Flown: 17/10/80

Obtained From: 216 Squadron RAF

Notes: Serial with RAF 399
G-BDIX GALLERY
G-BEEX
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06458

Arrived At Dan Air:  14/10/76

Last Flown:  Never Entered Service

Obtained From: Egyptair

Notes: Ex SU-ALM Scrapped, Lasham 1977 used for spares

G-BEEX GALLERY
G-BEEY
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06462

Arrived At Dan Air: 14/10/76

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: Egyptair

Notes: Ex SU-ALV - Scrapped at Lasham purchased for spares

G-BEEY GALLERY
G-BEEY
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06462

Arrived At Dan Air: 14/10/76

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: Egyptair

Notes: Ex SU-ALV - Scrapped at Lasham purchased for spares

G-BEEY GALLERY
G-BEEZ
Type:  Mk 4b

Serial Number: 06466

Arrived At Dan Air: 16/10/76

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: Egyptair

Notes: Ex SU-ANC Purchased for spares - scrapped at Lasham 1977

G-BEEZ GALLERY
5H-AAF
Type:  Mk4

Serial Number: 06433

Arrived At Dan Air: January 1971

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: East African Airways

Notes: Flown from Nairobi to Lasham for spares

5H-AAF GALLERY
5X-AAO
Type:  Mk4

Serial Number: 06431

Arrived At Dan Air: November 1970

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: East African Airways

Notes: Dismantled for spares 1971

5X-AAO GALLERY
5Y-AAA
Type:  Mk 4c

Serial Number: 06472

Arrived At Dan Air: February 1972

Last Flown: Never Entered Service

Obtained From: East African Airways

Notes: Purchased for spares - Broken up at Lasham

5Y-AAA GALLERY
DISCUSS THIS AIRCRAFT
2 comments


Geoff pollard
2017-07-25 07:26:18
VP-KRL/5Y-AAA wasn't a 4C: it was a Comet 4. There are loads of old photos around, and the difference is clear, but someone somewhere has made a mistake.....!
Geoff pollard
2017-07-25 07:26:04
VP-KRL/5Y-AAA wasn't a 4C: it was a Comet 4. There are loads of old photos around, and the difference is clear, but someone somewhere has made a mistake.....!
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